It was a bloodbath in the entertainment industry this week, as the four major broadcast networks canceled a total of 20 shows across all of them.
This phenomenon happens every year to some degree, though 2018 is particularly shocking. To start with, it is the end of pilot season, when new shows are select and networks make their pitch to advertisers trying to convince them to buy air time. Executives are faced with a deadline to make decisions on whether they'll renew existing shows or cancel them, and not everyone can get good news.
In addition, Fox dolled out some particularly heavy cuts as the network re-orients its priorities on live sporting events. Fox just signed a five year deal with the NFL to air Thursday Night Football, and will also show post-season games for Major League Baseball. Plus, Fox doesn't program the 9 p.m. hour like the other three networks do, so it has less real estate to spare in the first place.
This year, Fox shocked everyone by canceling Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the highly lauded police procedural comedy starring Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti and Terry Crews. However, the show was picked up by NBC not long after.
Fox also canceled The Last Man on Earth, The Mick, The Ecorcist and Lucifer.
Elsewhere on CBS, other fan favorites got the axe. The network canceled Scorpion after four seasons, Superior Donuts after two seasons, Me, Myself and I after just one season, Kevin Can Wait after two seasons and 9JKL after one season.
On ABC, many dramas were put to and end. The Crossing and Deception were btoh cancelled at the end of their first seasons, and Designated Survivor after season 2. Quantico was also cancelled at the end of its third season, despite the show's massive appeal to international audiences. To round it off, the network cancelled the Zach Braff-led comedy Alex, Inc. after just one season.
NBC called it quits on their TV adaptation of Taken after just one season, though the show is shopping hopefully around for another platform. NBC also canceled Great News after one season, The Brave after one season and Rise after one season.
To top it all off, The CW had to drop two shows this year as well, both at the end of their first seasons. Valor and Life Sentence were both cancelled.
Lucy Hale, who played the lead character Stella Abbot in Life Sentence, posted a screen shot from her Notes app to let fans know that the show was coming to an end.
"Just got the sad news that Life Sentence will not be coming back for a second season," Hale wrote. "I was emotionally attached to this story and to everyone involved so I'm a little shell shocked right now, but I feel fortunate that we got to tell a really beautiful story."